Japanese cuisine will always be a Filipino favorite; old-time restaurants continue to flourish, while newcomers also become popular quickly. It just goes to show how much Filipinos love a good helping of ramen, katsu, and of course, sushi! There are tons of restaurants that serve good, authentic sushi in the metro. But straying from the traditional doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When you feel like trying sushi that’s more adventurous and out-of-the-box, here are some places to try!
Image: Soru Izakaya
When it comes to plating and presentation, this sushi spot takes the cake. Soru Izakaya takes inspiration from Japanese manga art the colorful Tokyo nightlife, and this results in food presentation that is almost too pretty to eat (and definitely pretty enough to Instagram). But it isn’t only visuals that Soru Izakaya gets right – the food tastes just as good as it looks. Salmon skin, kani, and tamago maki are topped with a mound of salmon and tuna cubes with spicy sauce to make a popular dish aptly called Lava Maki (P380). The Kuro Dragon Maki (P480) contains freshwater eel, cream cheese, and asparagus, and is – you guessed it – decorated to look like a dragon. Don’t miss out on the creativity that Soru Izakaya brings to the plate!
This restaurant by The Moment Group has quickly grown to be one of the most loved sushi joints in town. Ooma describes their food as bold and unique, bringing an inventive take on casual Japanese dining. From the many sushi rolls that Ooma offers, their aburi (meaning “torched”) makis are a must try! The umami-filled Steak Aburi Maki (P335) has torched steak, truffle oil, and grilled leeks. Customers also love the Kimchi Prawn and Enoki Aburi Maki (275) that has fried prawns, crispy mushrooms, cream cheese, and yakiniku sauce, dressed with kimchi aioli. If you can’t decide on what you want to try, they also offer Aburi Mixers and Maki Mixers that come with 3 pieces of different sushi rolls!
Image: Mr. Roboto
If it’s a fun, quirky atmosphere you’re looking for, Mr. Roboto is the place to be. This retro robot-inspired restaurant in Alabang serves modern Japanese cuisine, known for their new takes on sushi, sashimi, and donburi. Their Modern Sashimi menu is a must-try; you can get salmon, tuna, or ebi served in three different ways. Their sushi choices are a treat as well, as many of the rolls are made with different kinds of “Secret Secret” rice that takes the dishes to another level. From the Modern Sushi menu, a popular dish is the Shake Nigiri (P255) that combines soy truffle salmon and negi salmon with cream cheese on their special salmon beet sushi rice.
Image: Sushi Nori
Sushi Nori combines traditional techniques and creative direction to come up with what they call the “perfect playground for sushi goodness.” One look at their brightly colored space, and you’ll know that this is a sushi place that knows how to have fun. Sushi Nori is known for their many kinds of sushi and temaki. The Godzilla (P369) is just as incredible as it sounds, with blow-torched unagi, black ebiko, tamago, and cream cheese. Fans of spicy tuna can try the Ay Caramba (289/maki, P229/temaki), which is overloaded with spicy tuna and crunchy tempura flakes goodness. One of Sushi Nori’s latest creations is the Sushi Cake — yes, you heard that right — in Classic, Spicy, and Veggie (P1,200). With a sushi rice base, topped with seafood, veggies, and sauces, it’s a sushi lover’s birthday dream!
Nikkei brings the best of two worlds together by fusing cuisine from Japan and Peru, probably the first of its kind in Manila. With Nikkei, you can expect dishes featuring fresh fish inspired by both countries, making it a great place to try a new take on sushi. The unique fusion of flavors will make you want to try more than one for sure. The Ebi Furai (P295/5 pieces, P545/10 pieces) has fried prawns, avocado, white fish, and ceviche sauce that highlights both Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Another bestseller is the Panko roll (P250/5 pieces, P495/10 pieces) with salmon, truffled cream cheese, cucumber, and leeks.
Sushi Ninja is just one of Alabang’s Japanese food gems, and it’s worth a visit if you find yourself (or live) in the area. Aside from traditional Japanese fare, this restaurant incorporates some Spanish flavors in their more modern sushi dishes. One of the Spanish-inspired sushi rolls is called the Covarrubias Maki (P395) with chorizo, negi, tamago, chorizo mayo, and a special garlic mayo. Chorizo in sushi form? That’s something unexpectedly good. Sushi Ninja also serves Toshi Sushi, which is a serving of fried sushi balls, in many different kinds. Customers love the torched salmon, cream cheese, and truffle oil that make up the Okinawa Toshi (P380).
Image: Ogetsu Hime
This spot is perfect for groups that want both traditional and modern Japanese food. While Ogetsu Hime offers high quality, authentic Japanese fare like fresh nigiri sushi and top-tier steak, their very extensive menu also include special rolls that are unique to their restaurant. One of their best sellers is the Momo Teri Maki (P205): chicken teriyaki and asparagus topped with bechamel, torched mozzarella, and teriyaki sauce. So good that it can compete with your favorite salmon and tuna rolls! If you’re looking for variety, try the Rainbow Batera (P305), which has an assortment of kani, ebi, salmon, tuna, and more.
Of course, there’s always room for dessert! And if you thought you couldn’t have sushi for dessert, think again – Gelatofix creates unique ice cream treats that look just like our favorite Japanese nigiri and maki. This cafe serves mainly Italian dishes and desserts, but this cute gelato invention sets Gelatofix apart from others. The Gelato Sushi (P75/1 piece, P200/3 pieces, P300/5 pieces) come in different flavors, like Wasabi Chocolate Gunkan, Sesame Sushi Roll, Mango Nigiri, and many more. Order assorted flavors to share with your family and friends – or to have all by yourself, if you want.